Spicy and Crunchy Netholi(Anchovy) Fry Kerala Toddy Shop Style

“Netholi oru Cheriya Meen alla” 🙂 . The Anchovy/ Netholi fish  size is very small but it has plenty of nutritional values and benefits. Anchovies are an excellent source of calcium, minerals, protein, iron, and zinc. Anchovies have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that help in preventing inflammation and heart diseases.
In kerala anchovy/netholi is available widely but it know as different names in different places such as nethili, Chooda, podi meen, kozhuva etc. It is very popular in kerala toddy shops (kallu shaap) menu. They serve spicy, crunchy and crispy anchovies as a starter/ finger food with kallu (Toddy, a sweet tasted alcoholic beverage tapped from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms, and coconut palms). In kerala households this crunchy fish fry serves as a side dish with daily meals. Try and enjoy this kerala (South Indian) authentic anchovy recipe with its detailed step by step method pictures 🙂

Recipe Type:
Seafood Starter/ Finger Food/ Side Dish
Cooking and Preparation Time :
10 to 20 minutes
Serve to :
3 to 4

Ingredients For Spicy and Crunchy Netholi (Anchovy) Fry Kerala Toddy Shop Style

  • Fresh Netholy/Anchovy
  • 250g
  • Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Pepper Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon
  • Rice Flour
  • 2 tablespoon
  • lime juice
  • 1 Teaspoon
  • Salt
  • To taste
  • Curry Leaves
  • 2 Sprig
  • Coconut Oil/Any Veg Oil
  • For Deep Frying Fish


1. Choose fresh anchovies.

2. For cleaning anchovy, with a kitchen scissor remove its head, tail and side fins. Then cut its stomach part, remove every dirts from inside. Add little sea salt, scrub and wash 2 or three times or until it’s silver strips looks very clean and shiny.

3. Add chilli, pepper, turmeric and rice powders along with curry leaves, lime juice and salt.

4. Mix and marinate well. Keep aside for next 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Heat oil in a frying pan (I used traditional iron pan/erumbu chatti), add marinated fish.

6. Fry in a medium heat.

7. When both sides looks crispy and crunchy, remove from oil.

8. Serve hot and crispy.

9. If you want kerala toddy shop feel, garnish crunchy anchovies with some chopped onions then serve. Enjoy!

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